Lots of us battle with healthy eating. We are torn between our appetite and eating too much, torn between enjoying our food and obsessing about food, and fluctuate between striving for, and giving up on, our ideal body shape.
Keep calm and carry on
I’m sure you’ve seen the well known message “Keep calm and carry on.” This message first appeared on posters in Great Britain before World War II broke out in 1939. The poster was the third in a series of three. The previous two posters from the series were “Freedom Is In Peril. Defend It With All Your Might” and “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory.”
The “Your Courage” poster was the most popular one during the war (and is my favourite of the three). With words such as courage, cheerfulness and resolution, it has a great, positive message. The “Keep calm and carry on” was not popular during the wartime, however, it has become more popular in the last 10 to 20 years.
The British Government knew back then that panic was detrimental to the well being of its citizens and its country. These messages on posters were aimed at calming citizens and to strengthen morale at the time.
Panic and our health
Panic also happens with our healthy lifestyle goals. This might happen when we feel we have been trying sooo hard and yet we see no change on the bathroom scales. Or perhaps, an increase! It can happen when we overeat at a meal, and feel like we will never gain control over our eating. Or maybe it occurs after setting rigid eating and exercise goals and then not following through with them. When doing up the zip of our jeans and realising they are suddenly tighter or when the garment we took into the change room didn’t fit. Or perhaps after an unconstructive comment from a friend about our weight.
After panic sets in, are you able to be rational, logical, objective? Not usually. Panic discourages us and puts us into helplessness mode. That’s why, then comes the avalanche of negative self talk about:
- our appetite – “I’m such a guts”,
- our food – “As of tomorrow I’m not eating any …”, and
- our bodies – “I’m disgusting,” “I’m fat,” or “I’ll never be able to control my weight”
Does panic pay off?
Our appetite then becomes our enemy. Enjoying our food becomes a crime. Our bodies become a battleground. Panic makes us take extreme measures with our food and or exercise. We go on a fad diet, binge exercise or are tempted with supplements which promise amazing results and yet require zero effort. Ultimately panic makes us punish our bodies. Panic is counterproductive to achieving our health goals. We are essentially at war with our own bodies.
At peace with our bodies
When we are at peace with our body, we appreciate our appetite, befriend our food and respect our bodies. We learn from past experiences and are kind to ourselves. We are better able to keep calm, eat healthily instead of resorting to fad diets, are active for enjoyment rather than to mimic another person’s body, and are in control of our health. A positive mindset is a win for our battle with food and our health.
For more information, contact Eatwiser.